Kimberly-Clark Focuses on Sustainable Forestry in New CSR Report

Gina-Marie Cheeseman
| Tuesday September 9th, 2014 | 0 Comments

Kimberly-Clark Scott Naturals Tube-FreeKimberly-Clark produces mainly paper-based personal care products, including popular brands such as Cottonelle, so it’s only fitting that the global company focuses on sustainable forestry.

Its latest corporate social responsibility report lists short- and long-term goals to make its products more sustainably produced. One of the short-term goals is to source 100 percent of its wood fiber from suppliers who have achieved third-party certification by 2015. It has already achieved this goal. Two of K-C’s long term-goals also involve sustainable forestry, including obtaining 90 percent of the fiber in its tissue products from environmentally-preferred sources by 2025. At the end of 2013, K-C was at 71.1 percent. Second, the company planned to transition to at least 50 percent of wood fiber sourced from natural forests to alternative fiber sources by 2025. At the end of 2013, K-C achieved 24 percent reduction of fiber sourced from natural forest.

K-C states it will not knowingly use conflict wood, illegal fiber or fiber procured from special forest areas, including endangered forests. All K-C tissue mills in North America and about 50 percent of mills in other regions are chain-of-custody certified. The goal is to achieve 100 percent chain-of-custody certification for all of its mills by 2016.

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3p Traceability Week: Expert Panelists Answer Your Questions

Mary Mazzoni
| Monday September 8th, 2014 | 0 Comments

3p Traceability Week is now underway! Join Triple Pundit and a panel of experts to discuss traceability in four controversial arenas — Seafood, Fashion, Minerals and Medical Marijuana.  Ask your questions in the comments section, and follow along hereThe Q&A closes on Tuesday, September 16. 

ktc-globeAs economies become more globalized, supply chains become immeasurably more complex. A given product often travels thousands of miles before arriving on a store shelf, and ingredients or components within that product may hail from all over the world. So, how do we know if a product is safe for our families and aligns with our values? Was it produced in an environmentally preferable way that also benefited the person who made it, or are environmental and human rights problems lurking within its supply chain?

Join Triple Pundit and a panel of experts for 3p Traceability Week to discuss traceability in four controversial arenas — seafood, fashion, minerals and medical marijuana.

Our featured panelists are: 

Here’s how it works: Follow each conversation here. Start asking your questions in the comments section below each post, and our experts will be on-hand all week to answer them. Pretty simple, right?

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“Creating Resilient Cities” Google Hangout with Siemens and Arup

Marissa Rosen
| Monday September 8th, 2014 | 0 Comments

creating resilient cities graphic-1

Join TriplePundit on Wednesday, October 1st at 9:00am PST / 12:00pm EST for a Google Hangout on “Creating Resilient Cities!”

The world is rapidly urbanizing and the majority of the global population will experience the effects of climate change in urban cities. Yet while cities are vulnerable, they are also uniquely positioned to lead the efforts of mitigating and adopting to climate change. How do we ensure that our cities will remain attractive places for people and businesses against a backdrop of increasing climate risk? Join TriplePundit’s Founder, Nick Aster, live on Google’s hangout platform to discuss how cities may be able to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Our featured panelists are:

  • Michael Stevns, Project Manager of the Toolkit for Resilient Cities, Siemens
  • Stephen Cook, Associate Director, Energy and Climate Change Consulting, Arup

The conversation will cover how to future-proof our cities; resilience in the fields of technology, finance, and risk management; and global best practices for creating resilient cities.

Let us know you’re coming! RSVP HERE.

The event will stream live here and on Google on October 1st. We hope you’ll join us there!

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How Cities Can Battle Climate Change with Resiliency Planning

Bill DiBenedetto | Monday September 8th, 2014 | 7 Comments

Editor’s Note: This article is part of a short series on creating resilient cities, sponsored by Siemens. Please join us for a live Google Hangout with Siemens and Arup on October 1, where we’ll talk about this issue live! RSVP here.

coverpic_toolkitforresilient cities (640x348)Climate change is not going away, so cities large and small must adopt resilient and collaborative strategies not only to cope with the mounting risks they face, but also to survive. It’s no longer a matter of picking and choosing what piece of crumbling infrastructure to repair with scarce funds this year or next — the entire urban organism has to deal with rising waters, super storms, health and food security, air and surface pollution, and increasing numbers of residents.

The stakes are even higher as populations worldwide increasingly cluster around urban areas. “The world is undergoing the largest wave of urban growth in history,” says the United Nations Population Fund. In 2008, for the first time, more than half of the world’s population lived in towns and cities.

Cities are on the front line of the changing climate

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says in its findings on the implications of climate change for cities: “Urban centers account for more than half of the world’s population, most of its economic activity and the majority of energy-related emissions. The role of cities in reducing emissions and protecting their inhabitants is therefore central to effective climate policies,” IPCC concluded.

Many emerging climate change risks are concentrated in urban areas, and climate change impacts on cities are increasing, IPCC continued. Key issues include rising temperatures, heat stress, water security and pollution, sea-level rise and storm surges, extreme weather events, heavy rainfall and strong winds, inland flooding, food security, and ocean acidification.

Due to the growth in urban populations, the number of people exposed to climate change risk is increasing: “Rapid urbanization in low- and middle income countries has already increased the number of highly vulnerable urban communities living in informal settlements, many of which are at high risk from extreme weather events.”

On the flip side, rapidly developing cities in industrializing countries may also have the “greatest potential for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.” The problem is that many rapidly developing cities “lack the financial, technological, institutional and governance capacity required for effective mitigation,” IPCC said. That’s where the notion of resilience comes in big time, because “steps that build resilience and enable sustainable development in urban areas can accelerate successful climate change adaptation globally.” Resilient cities may be the solution. 

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Half a Million Homes and Businesses Now Powered By Solar

Mike Hower
| Monday September 8th, 2014 | 0 Comments

solar The U.S. solar market hit a major milestone in the second quarter of this year, with more than half a million homes and businesses now generating solar energy, according to a new report by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

According to the Q2 2014 U.S. Solar Market Insight Report, the United States installed 1,133 megawatts of solar photovoltaics (PV) in the second quarter of this year. The residential and commercial segments accounted for nearly half of all solar PV installations in the quarter.

The residential market has seen the most consistent growth of any segment for years and is expected to continue on its upward path. Across the U.S., cumulative PV and concentrating solar power (CSP) operating capacity has surpassed 15.9 gigawatts, enough to power more than 3.2 million homes.

This expansion of solar power also has been a boon to the economy, the report’s authors say. Today, the solar industry employs 143,000 Americans and pumps nearly $15 billion a year into the economy. Much of this can be credited to effective public policies, such as the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), net energy metering and renewable portfolio standards (RPS).

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Do ‘Clicktivism’ and the Online Petition Really Go Too Far?

Jan Lee
Jan Lee | Monday September 8th, 2014 | 0 Comments

ChangeOrgClicktivism. It has a great ring to it, no? It says everything about our online culture these days where just about anything can be accomplished with enough single, willing clicks – including the viral success of an online petition.

Micah White, the well-known activist and former editor of Adbusters, first enlightened us to this issue in 2010 with his controversial article on the insidious petitions that are said to now populate the Internet. Petitions like that half-page appeal a friend sends you that urges more government money for Ebola treatment, or the letter demanding banks stop increased charges to checking accounts. For some, clicktivism represents a growing apathy in American social life — an erosion not only of activism, but of core values.

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Human Values and Corporate Social Impact: Learning and Foresight

3p Contributor | Monday September 8th, 2014 | 1 Comment

Editor’s Note: This is the final post in a six-part series examining the Supreme Court’s 2010 “Citizens United” decision that affirmed the legality of treating corporations as persons. Using JPMorgan Chase as an example, Donald J. Munro of the University of Michigan focuses on how certain human moral values and some corporate behaviors are incompatible. You can follow the whole series here

In this six-part series, Donald J. Munro of the University of Michigan examines the Supreme Court’s 2010 “Citizens United” decision using JPMorgan Chase as an example.

In this six-part series, Donald J. Munro of the University of Michigan examines the Supreme Court’s 2010 “Citizens United” decision using JPMorgan Chase as an example.

By Donald J. Munro

Foresight is not prognostication or fortune telling based on finding signs about the future. Rather, it refers to some awareness of the probable risks or advantages likely to follow as consequences of our actions. It is usually based on factual information about these risks and consequences.

This value derives from our primitive instinct to seek out survival resources and avoid predators and dangerous paths that can cause injury or death. In other words, experience and learning influence evolution; “…individuals that learn to predict during life also improve their food-finding ability during life.” It involves the ability to come up with creative responses to hunger and to avoiding danger.

Experience results in learning or new knowledge, as when we make or revise choices, based on earlier instances of successful or unsuccessful choices. At the cellular level, existing synapses are strengthened by the outcomes of choices, as when the brain causes dopamine to flag certain neurons. So being able to learn and revise choices helps us to cultivate foresight.

Biological basis of foresight

As Antonio Damasio put it, “Eventually, in a fruitful combination with past memories, imagination, and reasoning, feelings led to the emergence of foresight and the possibility of creating novel, non-stereotypical responses” (Antonio Damasio, “Looking for Spinoza,” p. 80). Steven Pinker described the brain function this way: “The faculties underlying empathy, foresight, and self-respect are information-processing systems that accept input and commandeer other parts of the brain and body” (in “The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature,” p. 166).

Foresight may also involve predictions of how the law or fellow citizens will respond to our choices, as in the expectation of rewards or punishments. In the case of corporations, if they care about human moral values, foresight would go beyond the factors predicting financial profit/loss. It would also include predictions about impact on people’s health and well-being, on their families and communities, and on their self-respect.

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Proposed Dredging of Searsport Harbor Threatens Maine Lobster Industry

Sarah Lozanova | Monday September 8th, 2014 | 2 Comments

Editor’s Note: This is the first post in a three-part series on environmental business issues facing Mid-coast Maine.

The proposed dredge site is located between Mack Point (bottom), Sears Island (left) and Islesboro (top)

The proposed dredge site is located between Mack Point (bottom), Sears Island (left) and Islesboro (top)

The last 200 years have left their mark on the Penobscot Bay and River in Mid-coast Maine, which show the effects of things like commercial fishing, dam construction, industrialization and logging. Although historical accounts from the Penobscot Indians tell of salmon runs so thick that people could walk across the river on the backs of fish, the Atlantic salmon was listed as an endangered specie in 2009. The recent removal of two dams on the Penboscot River restored access to 1,000 miles of fish habitat, while maintaining hydroelectric power production, and aquatic life is expected to increase.

The newest threat to the bay ecosystem is the proposed dredging of Searsport Harbor at Mack Point in Searsport, Maine by the Army Corps of Engineers. The plan is to deepen the port’s entrance from 35 to 40 feet and widen it from 500 to 650 feet. This harbor is the second busiest in Maine and is located in Penobscot Bay, near the mouth of the Penobscot River. The proposed project would involve moving 929,000 cubic yards of material and relocating it further down the bay. This controversial $12 million project is supported by some who believe it will encourage regional economic activity and opposed by others for numerous reasons.

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Longfellow Clubs Cuts Its Footprint and Engages Its Community

Sustainability4SMEs
| Monday September 8th, 2014 | 0 Comments

Editor’s Note: This is the second post in a two-part series on sustainability initiatives at Longfellow Sports Clubs in Sudbury, Wayland and Natick, Massachusetts. In case you missed it, you can read the first post here.

Tennis CourtsIn Part I of this two-part article, we showed how this Massachusetts-based health club company has made dramatic improvements in waste reduction, water usage efficiency and toxic chemical elimination — significantly enhancing its financial performance and providing a safer and healthier environment for club patrons. Here, we discuss its energy efficiency improvement initiatives as well as its highly successful efforts to encourage sustainable practices in the communities in which it operates.

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Hyatt Sets New Environmental ‘Vision’ for 2020

Gina-Marie Cheeseman
| Monday September 8th, 2014 | 0 Comments

Hyatt_ChampaignUrbana_exterior

In its latest corporate social responsibility report, Hyatt Hotels revealed a new set of environmental goals that it’s calling the Hyatt 2020 Vision.

One of the goals involves sustainable design: Starting in 2015, Hyatt will require all new construction and major renovation projects contracted for managed hotels to follow sustainable design guidelines. Starting next year, all new construction and major renovation projects for wholly-owned, full-service hotels must achieve either LEED certification or an equivalent certification.

The 2020 vision also includes reduction goals: Each of Hyatt’s three regions will reduce energy use, water use and greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent per square meter. The goal for water-stressed areas is to reduce water use by 30 percent. Additionally, every managed hotel will recycle or some how divert waste from landfills by 40 percent.

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3p Weekend: 15 Fall Conferences We Can’t Wait to Check Out

Mary Mazzoni
| Friday September 5th, 2014 | 1 Comment

newco san franciscoWith a busy week behind you and the weekend within reach, there’s no shame in taking things a bit easy on Friday afternoon. With this in mind, every Friday TriplePundit will give you a fun, easy read on a topic you care about. So, take a break from those endless email threads, and spend five minutes catching up on the latest trends in sustainability and business.

Just like everyone else, we’re sad to see the summer go. But the good news is: With the fall season comes loads of thought-provoking conferences to get the creative juices flowing. Here are 15 we can’t wait to hit this year.

1. NewCo San Francisco

For a third consecutive year, San Francisco’s most innovative companies will open their doors to executives, entrepreneurs, investors and future influencers during NewCo San Francisco. Notice is a bit short for this one (the SF event takes place next week), but Newco is going around the world with similar conferences in host cities like New York, Los Angeles and London.

September 11-12 in San Francisco
Click here to register (discount to VIP reception with code “TriplePunditSF2014″), or follow along at #NewCoSF

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SOCAP14: Q&A with Impact Weaver Award Winner Lindsey Engh

| Friday September 5th, 2014 | 0 Comments

Lindsey EnghThe first annual Impact Weaver Award recognizes the internal leaders that work behind the scenes to build the team and operational infrastructure that make up a successful organization.

Friday Consulting, in partnership with Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) launched this award to recognize the unsung heroes of social entrepreneurship. Friday Consulting’s Founder, Shivani Ganguly, notes, “We frequently praise the founders of social enterprises for their vision and willingness to take on the challenges and great risks that come along with building a successful venture. However, we tend to forget about the internal leaders that build the team and make the hundreds of strategic and tactical decisions needed to bring the vision to fruition.”

Triple Pundit: Congratulations on winning this year’s Impact Weaver Award! Can you tell us a little bit about you and your company?

Lindsey Engh: Hi! I’m Lindsey, and I’m lucky enough to work with an incredible team to make Impact Hub Seattle a reality. Our revenue model is based on coworking, events, and educational workshops, but at our core we are a community of individuals working at the intersection of technology and social good. We believe that strong human relationships underline everything we do, and we also recognize that everyone has a unique set of skills and passions that, when recognized and activated, can change their sense of self-worth, which in turn, changes the world one person at a time. Our mission is to equip every individual who walks through our doors with the tools they need to make their most impact possible.

As for myself, most of my time is spent at Impact Hub — I’m a co-founder and manage most day-to-day operations. I’m pretty easily excited by a delicious Jasmine Pearl tea, T-shirt cycling weather, excellent non-fiction, my bike, going to bed early and waking up even earlier (4 a.m.!), dancing, and a cozy grey Seattle day spent curled up reading.

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PepsiCo Releases New Water Modeling Tool for Latin America

Leon Kaye | Friday September 5th, 2014 | 0 Comments
PepsiCo, Pepsi, Inter-American Development Bank, water scarcity, Latin America, Brazil, Argentina, Haiti, Peru, Leon Kaye, Hydro-BID

São Paulo could run out of water in several weeks.

Latin America overall has bountiful supplies of water; in fact, the World Bank estimates that 31 percent of the world’s freshwater resources can be found in this region. But that does not mean citizens necessarily have equal access to this vital resource, and climate change could have a drastic effect on future supplies of water. PepsiCo, working with the Inter-American Bank (IDB) and European governments, has released a new data management program with the aim to assist Latin American nations with forecasting future water availability and supplies.

The modelling tool, which the IDB has named Hydro-BID, is an open-sourced program that has already projected water supplies in Argentina, Brazil, Haiti and Argentina. Pepsi announced Hydro-BID’s launch at the annual World Water Week in Stockholm.

Access to such a tool is important for managing water supplies throughout Latin America because the evidence suggests climate change has already had in impact on water management within the region.

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Berkshire Beyond Buffett? Not So Fast

Michael Kourabas
| Friday September 5th, 2014 | 1 Comment
Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet speaks at the Fortune Most Powerful Women conference in 2013. Can Berkshire survive without its

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet speaks at the Fortune Most Powerful Women conference in 2013. Can Berkshire continue to thrive without its ‘Oracle-in-Chief?’

A few weeks ago, Class A shares of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway topped a staggering $200,000 a share.  Berkshire, which came in at No. 4 on the latest Fortune 500 list, has 300,000 employees spread across 59 subsidiaries, and more cash on hand — $55.5 billion — than any other company in America.  Its market value is roughly $330 billion, and it is often cited as one of the “most admired” companies in the world.  Berkshire has achieved all of this in the fashion of an old-school American conglomerate, refusing to focus on just one sector or industry.  As a result, Berkshire’s stock and subsidiary portfolios include such behemoths as American Express; Burlington Northern Santa Fe; Coca-Cola; GEICO; Heinz; IBM; Walmart; and Wells Fargo, to name just a few.

Yet, the company’s growth has slowed: Over the last five years, it underperformed the S&P 500 for the first time in its history — and Berkshire skeptics question whether such a large and tentacular entity can continue to thrive without its Oracle-in-Chief.  Lawrence Cunningham, a law professor at George Washington University and author of the thoughtful “Berkshire Beyond Buffett:  The Enduring Value of Values” (Columbia Business School Publishing), is betting that it can.  While Cunningham’s book works quite well as a testament to Warren Buffett’s unassailable vision and leadership, as well as to what Berkshire embodies and may continue to embody after Buffett, it comes up a bit short as an argument for why Berkshire’s greatness will outlive its leader.

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SOCAP14: Q&A with Impact Weaver Award Winner Mary Voelbel

| Friday September 5th, 2014 | 0 Comments

Mary VoelbelThe first annual Impact Weaver Award recognizes the internal leaders that work behind the scenes to build the team and operational infrastructure that make up a successful organization.

Friday Consulting, in partnership with Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) launched this award to recognize the unsung heroes of social entrepreneurship. Friday Consulting’s Founder, Shivani Ganguly, notes, “We frequently praise the founders of social enterprises for their vision and willingness to take on the challenges and great risks that come along with building a successful venture. However, we tend to forget about the internal leaders that build the team and make the hundreds of strategic and tactical decisions needed to bring the vision to fruition.”

Triple Pundit: Congratulations on winning this year’s Impact Weaver Award! Can you tell us a little bit about you and your company?

Mary Voelbel: I’m a Minnesota native with a penchant for social justice issues and a passion for international experiences. I earned my BA in Psychology from The Colorado College before launching my career as the Center Director for SCORE! Educational Centers in the Bay Area. Following my passion for travel and culture, I spent a year teaching English in Chile through the Ingles Abre Puertas program designed in collaboration by the United Nations and the Chilean Ministry of Education. Before returning to the U.S., I moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina to continue my work in teaching, community outreach, and customer relations roles. After two and a half years working abroad, I had a soft landing back into the States, when I earned my Master’s in Human Development & Psychology from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Upwardly Global brought me back to the Bay Area! We are a national nonprofit that connects highly skilled immigrant and refugee professionals with U.S. employers looking for global talent. There are 1.8 million skilled immigrants with the legal right to work, who are unemployed or severely underemployed — engineers that are driving cabs, accountants working as security guards and doctors working as nannies. Upwardly Global provides the training needed to navigate the U.S. job search and partners with employers to access this often hidden talent pool. We currently have offices in the Bay Area, Chicago, New York and Detroit and are serving job seekers through our online program in 40 different states.

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